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Quiet Uptown

I haven’t been writing because…well there isn’t anything to write about. I threw Cruze on the lunge in the arena a week after the farrier last left (5 weeks ago now) and he was still off on the front right even after the abscess blew and all looked good.

Love the fact that he always greets me and checks out what I am up to. Pete ignores me and Gem…well…you can see what she thinks of me. 

It was depressing.

So I decided to ignore his existence for 6 weeks until the farrier came back out and could shoe him. By ignore I mean doing the following:

  • Gastroguard daily for 4 weeks
  • A nice cold shower when he came in for dinner sweaty
  • Fly spray applied nightly after dinner on his way back out
  • Hooves picked clean every other day
  • Keratex applied twice weekly
  • Hoof supplement mixed into his dinner daily
  • Lots of pats, kisses and head snuggles

So…you know…real neglected.

Doofus has a mineral block. Doofus instead prefers to lick the salt off Pete. Doofus is weird. Don’t be like Doofus. 

What I haven’t done is ride him or lunge him or even hand walk him. I watch him run amok in the pasture and play rear/bite with Pete on the daily and he looks sound. Extremely sound. Sound enough to come flying down the hillside to the gate for dinner nearly splatting on his face because homeboy has no idea where his feet are and how to manage his legs.

See below: not lame.

I just haven’t been able to muster up the courage to lunge or ride him again for fear of that persistent NQR on the front right under saddle.

I also love the fact that he gets along super well with the Dynamic Duo. Nobody picks on anyone else and they all can share the water. It is nice to see. 

I’m not worried. Yet. He was 100% sound walk, trot, canter and jumping when he was shod up front. I had his PPE and he trotted off sound for every limb and his joints all looked good on xray.  Trainer gave me two lessons on him and watched him move very well and even commented on how nice his trot was. Then he ripped his hoof off and went lame. With no other explainable reason for acute onset lameness, I’m blaming his bad feet.

See below: also not lame. Both these videos were taken in the last couple of weeks. Here he is trying to stir up Pete to play, but it was insanely hot and Pete had no interest.

The farrier comes out on Wednesday evening and I’m thinking maybe it would be a good idea to throw him on the lunge and ride him this weekend to see what he is like. It would probably be good information for new farrier (who saw him last time but had not met him pre lost shoes and lameness) to work with.

Being ignored is hard, folks.

The problem is that I don’t want to. It has been closer to 7 weeks since I last rode and I should be itching to get back in the saddle. Instead..well, instead I’m dreading it. Dreading the moment I put him on the lunge and I see a head bob. Dreading not seeing it but then feeling the NQR under saddle. Dreading bringing him back into work when he has been out of it for so long and I just know it is going to be a bad ride. Much head dragging. Much can’t bend away from the gate. Add in some screaming. Perhaps another buck/rear dump me move? I don’t know.

Waggy’s new hardware. The Hubby took out the IM rod because it was to prominent and was rubbing on her sciatic nerve causing a lot of pain. Since then she has settled a lot and will hopefully start progressing to using the leg again. 

The first ride back has to happen. If it doesn’t then there can’t be a second ride back or a third and I know those will be better. Its just…I spent so long imagining my next horse. Imagining how much easier said horse would be at the basic level. And well…he hasn’t lived up to what I pictured. Maybe that was all pain related. Maybe he will surprise me now that he should be feeling great again and come out and be the horse I trialed and loved, but there is a tiny pit of dread in my stomach that he wont be. And then what?

A baby snake in the barn. I nearly stepped on it. It was so small!

I don’t know. If I put it off long enough maybe I won’t have to find out.

16 thoughts on “Quiet Uptown”

  1. I know how you feel. And you know going in, the first ride back isn’t going to be fun so go in with no expectation. Lunge. And if that’s all you do, that’s all you do. If he’s sound, great! Day 2, lunge and then hop on, because guess what? You’re working 2 days in a row. He decides he doesn’t want to work? Then lunge some more. Honestly, lunging isn’t my favorite thing, but when you are bringing a horse back into work (especially a lazy stinker), sometimes it comes in handy (email me at sekatz AT udel dot edu and we can talk about bringing Subi back into work if you would like — openly and honestly) sometimes it’s helpful to be on the ground where you may be more confident and get after him and remind him that, guess what? YOU are the boss and his opinion doesn’t always matter. Then get on and repeat. I have trick from my athletic “I can take 100% advantage of you just because I’ve figured out how to scare the shit out of you and then look innocent” horse… And then rinse and repeat. Honestly, it gets easier. And tacking up and lunging and getting on and even just walking around once and hopping off is going to do wonders for his brain in the beginning. (I do a lot of voice commands at the walk and then the trot so I am not pounding either on the line). Eventually, it’s going to be all in the saddle with a tiny bit of ground work (backing, halting, etc.) before you get on. Brain engagement.

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    1. I’m hoping all this is for naught and he returns to the easy going fun gelding I had when I first brought him home. From all my in hand stuff the last 4 months I can confidently say he does not handle pain at all. He is not stoic. So I’m thinking his acting out was because the feet hurt. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ll find out tomorrow!

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      1. If he is sound and gives you attitude, you may just need to reinstall the “you are not retired” button which you CAN and WILL do. My child packer Hayley mare was the worst with this! The drama and fire she breathed! 2 rides later she was an angel and would baby sit a 3 year old (head tossing and scooting and trying to twist and bolt).

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  2. Knock it off. For real, get outa that head of yours! Cruise will be a bigger butt the longer you wait and less you do. If he is sound in pasture, lunge in the pasture.

    I do totally get it, my new pony apparently read your post about Cruise and pretty much did his best copy attempt. I am back on, even though he is NQR a few steps here and there as our footing sucks monkey balls.
    Glad pups healing up.

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  3. Yea haha. What Kat said. Just do it. Saddle him up. Climb aboard. Ride him around. Just freakin do it. He’s a good boy and you can ride him. But the longer he sits the more likely he’s going to feel like maybe he’s retired and doesn’t have to work any more. The longer you sit the less you’re going to feel like having to convince him otherwise.

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  4. Ride him you will feel better about him. Just go for a walk around the fields if need by (after lunging him). If he is sound in the field he should be sound in the ring too. I can’t talk i still haven’t thrown a leg over mine and as spooky as he has gotten (I blame spooky pony Tate for this) i am feeling very nervous about it!! UGH

    Hope he is sound and behaves 🙂 At least he is cute 🙂 And gets along with the other two! (Gem’s face is hilarious at the water trough).

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  5. Agree with everyone, but make it low pressure and fun! Lunge, get on and just walk a circle if you want. Walk around the field. Heck, have someone lead you around if you need to. Wear a XC vest if it makes you feel better, add a neck strap, do whatever you need to make it as easy feeling as possible on yourself. Heck, if I still lived close, I’d come out! Alas, I am now a midwesterner. The first ride is the hardest, but it will only get easier and the longer you spend in your head, the more you’ll build up a worst case scenario.

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